Smart student lockers are becoming increasingly popular as a way to manage deliveries and storage on university campuses across the UK. A smart locker system can save universities both time and money, as well as reduce the risk of parcels or assets getting misplaced or damaged. Moreover, it gives students and staff peace of mind, knowing that their items are safe and secure within the locker.
Tech-driven storage solutions not only allow for secure and efficient delivery and storage, but they also provide a number of other benefits for universities. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of implementing smart lockers at university campuses for efficient campus management.
Why do schools need lockers?
Schools need lockers for more than just the traditional storage of materials. They give students and teachers a sense of privacy in the otherwise shared education environment. While not all students need a school locker, it’s important that the option is available for those who do to ensure a good student experience.
For safety reasons, it’s important to have safe spaces where the institution can store resources while ensuring that students won’t worry about leaving their assets on campus.
Transform the School Experience: Digitising Lockers
Smart technology provides advanced workflows and features that go beyond traditional storage. Smart storage solutions typically use digital locks that enable keyless and touchless access via ID card, fingerprint, PIN/QR code, and mobile app.
Smart lockers can provide enhanced security, convenience, and efficiency for users, making them a popular choice in a variety of settings, including universities, offices, event venues, and public spaces.
What can Smart Lockers be used for in schools and universities?
Smart lockers can be used for a variety of workflows at a school or university campus: Beyond personal storage for students and staff, these also include storage for visitors, parcel deliveries, and asset management. Traditionally, each locker bank would be limited to process only one workflow which results in the need to purchase multiple banks to fulfill each purpose. However, modern smart lockers have the ability to flexibly switch between multiple workflows in one locker bank.
Personal storage provides a safe and convenient place to store bags, books, lunch, and other belongings, reducing clutter and maximising available space on campus.
Visitor lockers for day use
Without the hassle of physical keys, visitors (such as guest lecturers, family members, event participants, and more) are able to claim a locker using an app, QR code, ID card, or through the online platform. This ensures a safe storage space on campus for anyone who might want or need it.
Delivery lockers for parcels
With the rise of e-commerce, many students and staff members frequently receive packages, which can be a hassle to manage and distribute. This process is simplified by providing a more sustainable and centralised location for parcel delivery and pickup on campus.
Resource lockers for tool sharing
Universities and schools have a lot of valuable assets and campus resources that need to be tracked and managed. Smart school lockers with asset management capabilities can help streamline this process by providing real-time monitoring and reporting on asset usage and availability.
Benefits of Student Lockers on Campus
There are many benefits of having lockers in school – from students’ individual privacy to overall increased security and smart student locker systems provide all of this on top of an enhanced user experience.
1. Increased campus security
Smart lockers and security go hand in hand: electronic locks allow for restricted access, meaning only authorised users can access certain compartments. Without the risk of lost keys and leaked lock combinations, the risk of losses and theft is greatly reduced while still providing convenient access for students.
Smart lockers often use sensors and cameras to monitor daily usage and contents, providing real-time data on any unusual activity for extra protection. For example, admins will receive an alert if a locker is ever forced open and broken into, against all odds. This remote management means it won’t be necessary to have security patrolling at all times.
2. Improved campus management
Using smart lockers for university campus management can solve many common challenges with organisation and impractical administrative tasks. It removes the issue of a student being permanently locked out as any access issues can be fixed easily by managers. With full administrative access to the cloud-based locker management software, they can choose to reset, release, or change the workflow of the unit in question. Furthermore, through smart technology and innovation, the locker system can integrate with other school systems to create a smart campus with an optimised campus management system and digital infrastructure.
3. Increased administration efficiency
The reception desk staff is an essential administrative part of a campus where both students and staff can go for help. With traditional lockers, any issues with lost keys lost equipment, or lost packages would fall on the receptionists to help solve. Student lockers eliminate the risks of having these issues, allowing the staff to focus on more important administrative tasks.
4. Streamlining parcel deliveries
Simplify the delivery and pick-up process for campus packages
No more waiting for the post at home and missing classes. Instead, each student receives a notification once their package has arrived, which they can then collect after class or the next morning. It’s a simple and easy way to save time.
Improved organisation and privacy
Parcel lockers help receptionists avoid mailroom clutter, as all deliveries can be deposited and stored in a safe space until the recipient is ready to collect. No personal deliveries have to pass through the hands of staff, which means recipients can keep their parcel delivery private.
5. Simple and secure Asset management
Manage valuable equipment and resources
Smart storage provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of what items are stored where so managers can keep track of the most valuable equipment for optimisation of resources. Additionally, it provides a streamlined and secure way for educational spaces to offer laptop sharing.
Increase accountability and reduce loss
The online platform provides daily reports and logs. Managers can always check when and who last accessed equipment, so in case anything goes missing, tracking it down will be easier and the appropriate persons can be held accountable.
6. Enhance student life
With multiple access methods, such as a PIN code, QR code, biometric scan, or even a smartphone app, smart storage is highly convenient and easy to use. Additionally, it can integrate with other campus systems, such as student IDs and course schedules, to provide a seamless experience for students. This integration can allow for easier access to storage, check-in for classes, and receiving notifications through text or email when items are ready to be collected. Overall, smart lockers for schools offer a convenient, secure, and technology-driven solution for students’ storage needs, improving their daily lives on campus.
Ways smart student lockers can be implemented at universities and schools?
1. Retrofit locks
For universities and schools with smaller budgets, upgrading their locker system doesn’t have to mean purchasing all new locker banks.
With Vpod, you can upgrade the school storage you already have with retrofit smart locks that come with the same features and software.
2. Custom-made smart locker banks
Alternatively, you can consult Vpod’s locker experts on how you want your lockers to look and work. From sizing, colouring, and materials, all can be tailored to your specific need with our in-house manufacturing.
The great thing about smart technology is that it is truly smart: with cloud-based systems and open APIs, smart tech can help future-proof operations and workflows across industries. The platform can be continuously updated, expanded, and customised to fit whatever look and branding the institution desires, and things can be changed if and when they need to be.
Vflex Smart Locker Features
At Vpod Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing bespoke solutions that help solve clients’ unique challenges. This is why our Vflex solution is so very flexible and well-suited for schools and university campuses.
On top of the typical smart locker benefits, Vflex has the following features:
- Tech agnostic, meaning multiple software integrations are possible (such as desk booking and campus management).
- Touchless access.
- Multiple workflows in one locker bank (parcel, asset, personal, rental).
- Multiple access methods to choose from (RFID, QR, PIN, app).
- Online storage reservation.
- Plug & Play: The lockers can be easily moved without causing software issues.
- Made bespoke in-house for completely customisable configurations and UI.
Universities have proud traditions and often work with legacy structures, but just as curriculums change to adapt to modern times, it’s important to keep infrastructures and management up-to-date so the university experience doesn’t end up falling behind.
The modern student was raised with technology and appreciates the added convenience offered to them. A compelling and well-organised campus will help attract more students, and a smart student locker system is the way forward to give universities a competitive edge while cutting operational costs.
In summary, our four main benefits of smart lockers on campus are:
- Increased campus security
- Improved campus management
- Increased administration efficiency
- Enhanced student life